The Trump travel ban on Muslim-majority countries may be associated with preterm births among women, study says

The 2017 travel ban imposed by the Trump administration on seven Muslim-majority countries may be associated with an increase in preterm births among women from those countries residing in the United States, according to a new study.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Researchers found an increase in preterm birth rates among women from countries on the 2017 travel ban.


© Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
Researchers found an increase in preterm birth rates among women from countries on the 2017 travel ban.

The study, published last week in the journal Social Science and Medicine, analyzed preterm birth rates among women from countries impacted by the travel ban: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Researchers found an increase after the ban, with a preterm birth rate of 8.6% between February and September 2017. That percentage rose from 8.5% before the ban, between January 2009 and December 2016.

By comparison, US-born, non-Hispanic White women held a steady 8.6% preterm birth rate throughout the time frames.

The 0.1 percentage point increase may not seem dramatic, but it means that the odds of women from these countries having preterm births increased by 6.8%, according to lead author Goleen Samari, an assistant professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

“It’s a massive change when you think about a 6.8% increase,” Samurai told CNN. And because these women typically have better birth outcomes than non-Hispanic White women, Samari says, going from better to worse is significant.

Stress could be reason behind preterm births

To calculate the change, the team used a time series model to estimate the expected preterm birth numbers had the ban not been issued. They used data beginning in 2009 to see what the expected number of preterm births among women from the banned countries would be in 2017 and 2018, after the ban went into place. The team then compared the expected amount of preterm births to the actual amount, showing the elevated trend.

The researchers could not say why the policy led to a rise in preterm births. However, Samurai says that the researchers hypothesized that it was due to stress — either the initial acute stressful shock of the first order or chronic stress exposure as the ban continued to change and make headlines for its court filings or protests.

Another reason could be a decline of quality care, as some women may have avoided prenatal care because they may have felt like they were in a discriminatory environment, Samari says.

Researchers also noted some limitations in their analysis, notably that they did not use individual-level information in their analysis, like maternal facts, political ideology or gestational risk factors that may have contributed to preterm births.

The study stands out for its focus on women from the Middle East and North Africa, who tend to be overlooked as they are classified as non-Hispanic White in data, the researchers say. They add that no study had focused on the impact of a policy that is considered xenophobic and Islamophobic.

Preterm births and poor birth outcomes are “sensitive markers of temporally acute stressors from social and economic threats to

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The 2017 travel ban may be associated with preterm births among women from the targeted countries, study says

The 2017 travel ban imposed by the Trump administration on seven Muslim-majority countries may be associated with an increase in preterm births among women from those countries residing in the United States, according to a new study.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Researchers found an increase in preterm birth rates among women from countries on the 2017 travel ban.


© Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
Researchers found an increase in preterm birth rates among women from countries on the 2017 travel ban.

The study, published last week in the journal Social Science and Medicine, analyzed preterm birth rates among women from countries impacted by the travel ban: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

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Researchers found an increase after the ban, with a preterm birth rate of 8.6% between February and September 2017. That percentage rose from 8.5% before the ban, between January 2009 and December 2016.

By comparison, US-born, non-Hispanic White women held a steady 8.6% preterm birth rate throughout the time frames.

The 0.1 percentage point increase may not seem dramatic, but it means that the odds of women from these countries having preterm births increased by 6.8%, according to lead author Goleen Samari, an assistant professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

“It’s a massive change when you think about a 6.8% increase,” Samurai told CNN. And because these women typically have better birth outcomes than non-Hispanic White women, Samari says, going from better to worse is significant.

Stress could be reason behind preterm births

To calculate the change, the team used a time series model to estimate the expected preterm birth numbers had the ban not been issued. They used data beginning in 2009 to see what the expected number of preterm births among women from the banned countries would be in 2017 and 2018, after the ban went into place. The team then compared the expected amount of preterm births to the actual amount, showing the elevated trend.

The researchers could not say why the policy led to a rise in preterm births. However, Samurai says that the researchers hypothesized that it was due to stress — either the initial acute stressful shock of the first order or chronic stress exposure as the ban continued to change and make headlines for its court filings or protests.

Another reason could be a decline of quality care, as some women may have avoided prenatal care because they may have felt like they were in a discriminatory environment, Samari says.

Researchers also noted some limitations in their analysis, notably that they did not use individual-level information in their analysis, like maternal facts, political ideology or gestational risk factors that may have contributed to preterm births.

The study stands out for its focus on women from the Middle East and North Africa, who tend to be overlooked as they are classified as non-Hispanic White in data, the researchers say. They add that no study had focused on the impact of a policy that is considered xenophobic and Islamophobic.

Preterm births and poor birth outcomes are “sensitive markers of temporally acute stressors from social and economic threats

Read more

Global Blood Pressure Monitoring Equipment And Accessories Market 2020 to 2025 Top Countries Data, Growth Pattern and Analyzing Impacts Of COVID-19

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Dec 02, 2020 (CDN Newswire via Comtex) —
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The research covers the current market size of the market and its growth rates based on records with the company outline of key players/manufacturers: Omron Healthcare, Welch Allyn, American Diagnostic Corporation, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Withings SA, Schiller AG, A&D Medical, Spacelabs Healthcare, SPENGLER, SunTech Medical, GE Healthcare

By the product type, the market is primarily split into: Automatic Sphygmomanometer, Ambulatory Sphygmomanometer, Blood Pressure Sensor, Blood Pressure Meter Accessories

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Major countries play a vital role in the market: North America (United States, Canada and Mexico), Europe (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Russia and Italy), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia and Australia), South America (Brazil, Argentina), Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and South Africa)

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Have countries led by women coped better with Covid-19?

Eight months ago, the tooth fairy flitted into New Zealand politics. During a national address, the country’s premier Jacinda Ardern declared that, although she was placing the population into a tight lockdown to combat Covid-19, “We do consider both the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny to be essential workers.” The video of her speech went viral.

Was this just a piece of political theatre? Perhaps. But the humour, care and humanity it showed raise an intriguing question: have female leaders been better at rallying their voters to combat the pandemic than men?

No doubt many readers will have their own views. And, as it happens, Covid-19 has hit the world when, for the first time in history, we arguably have a big enough sample size of male- and female-led countries to compare (this in itself is striking). If you look at the examples of female-led nations — New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Belgium (for most of the year), Taiwan and Scotland — the data is mixed but thought-provoking.

Calculations by the FT on morbidity rates, testing rates and the stringency of lockdown measures in the OECD club of developed countries are revealing. Female-led countries did not impose stricter conditions, such as school closures and travel restrictions, than those headed by men, according to an Oxford university tracker. But it does seem that countries with female heads of government had better results than their male counterparts on death rates.

Chart showing that countries with female leaders tend to have lower Covid-19 death rates and better economic performance

As of the end of November, New Zealand had a cumulative death rate of 5.1 per million, the lowest in the OECD. And in Iceland, Norway and Finland, the deaths per million have been kept well below 100. In Denmark and Germany, they stayed under 250. That is much better than in male-led countries: in the Netherlands, France and Sweden, the rate was above 500. In Italy, the UK and US it was above 780. In Spain, it was nearly 950. The exception to the gender pattern was Belgium, which had a female premier to September this year — and a death rate of 1,360 per million.

We also know that female-led countries test more rigorously for coronavirus. If you look at their average number of tests carried out per confirmed case, in June it was 244, whereas in male-led countries it was 155.

Chart showing that female leaders have more rigorous Covid-19 testing  strategies than male ones

We can probably rule out trust in government as the differentiating factor. In New Zealand, 77 per cent of the country is satisfied with the ­government’s use of scientific advice. There are high levels in other female-led countries such as Germany, Norway and Denmark. However, male-led countries such as China, Argentina and the Netherlands also have high levels of trust — and decidedly mixed records. Perhaps most notable is that, at 18 per cent satisfaction, the US is at the bottom of the trust list.


The correlation of a female premier and a low death rate does not show causality, of course. The presence of a female leader might be the symptom, rather than

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